Humans of the Hilltop: Kala Pierce

Assistant Director for Alumni Relations Kala Pierce has been working at Bradley for four years in a position she says she loves. photo via Kala Pierce
Assistant Director for Alumni Relations Kala Pierce has been working at Bradley for four years in a position she says she loves.
photo via Kala Pierce

Not everyone enjoys going into work every day, and finding an interesting job can be just as tough, but tucked away in the Hayden-Clark Alumni center is a recent Bradley graduate working her dream job.

After starting in May of 2013, Assistant Director for Alumni Relations Kala Pierce will reach her four-year anniversary in the position in a few weeks. She said she has enjoyed every second of it.

“I love what I do,” Pierce said. “My husband is envious of this because I truly look forward to coming to work every day.”

The Peoria-native attended Illinois Community College for two years before deciding to transfer to Bradley to pursue her bachelor’s degree without declaring a major.

“I [worked] with people who are special needs as well as [getting] my fashion fix by working with [Bradley’s] student group called Fashion Focus,” Pierce said. “I also enjoyed planning events, so I went into public relations and minored in marketing once I transferred.”

According to Pierce, her willingness to help people turned her focus in a new direction.

“I’ve always been passionate about helping others,” Pierce said. “In the nonprofit world, there’s limited means and a huge need. So I always knew that I had a large voice, and I could make a big impact.”

After graduating in 2010, Pierce worked with nonprofit organizations in the area (including the Peoria Riverfront Museum) as an event coordinator before finding an opening at Bradley.

“Bradley’s alumni office had a position open in planning events, and of course, it was a very easy choice for me,” Pierce said. “I owe everything to Bradley. They gave me my foundation.”

Pierce said the job is as challenging as it is rewarding.

“There are days that are harder than others, but that’s to be expected,” Pierce said. “This week, we have two back-to-back events, and I will probably get six hours of sleep on Friday and then work 36 hours, but that’s part of my job. That’s what makes it so rewarding.”

The current aim of the Alumni Office and the Student Alumni Association (SAA) is to engage more with students and create involved alumni for years to come.

“I hope that with the students here on campus, they can realize that the Alumni Association has a lot more to offer during [their] time on campus and not just after,” Pierce said.

Pierce said her favorite aspect of the position is creating exciting, new programs to reconnect alumni with their old campus.

“[I have] engaged alumni that probably would have never stepped foot on campus if I would not have talked with them and shared my passions and experiences,” Pierce said. “That’s what’s so fulfilling for me.”